Probiotics are a household term by now. Over the past decade, the use of probiotic supplements has grown tremendously as a way to balance, restore and heal the gut's ecosystem naturally.
The gut rests at the core of optimal wellness, as it determines the quality and strength of many important organs in the body. Some common, but disregarded symptoms that often lead to poor gut health include unexplained weight gain, fluctuations in mood, sleep and cognitive disturbances and digestion among others. Clearly, it acts as a make-or-break factor that warrants further investigation. Luckily, the best approach to healing the gut is relying on the works of probiotic supplements.
A lot of thought process typically goes into choosing the right type of probiotic supplement. Potential areas worth going over comprise the type of strain, its concentration (often reported in CFU), inclusion of prebiotics (if applicable), absorption rates, etc. The purpose of this comprehensive guide is to eliminate all of the guesswork, while educating and evaluating the top 10 probiotic supplements that made the cut!
Best of the Lot: Top Ranking Probiotic Supplements
After rummaging through clinical trials, scientific research, consumer choices and reviews indicating quality, purity and safety, our team believes the following are worth investigating:
- Pro-X10 and Gut Reg by BioTRUST
- Complete Probiotics Platinum by 1MD
- Micelle Liposomal Probiotic by PuraTHRIVE
- 24 Strain Probiotic by Gundry MD
- Bio X4 by Nucific
- Balance by Organifi
- ProbioticBalance by Prime Health Daily
- Multi-GI 5 by Unify Health Labs
- Probiotic T-50 by Zenith Labs
- Replenish 911 by PhytAge Labsv
The following rankings of the best probiotic supplements to buy will all analyze, examine and review the most important details of each individual formula. Whether looking for weight loss, hormonal regulation or simply optimal digestion, the use of probiotics is in everyone's best interest to win the war of good bacteria and bad bacteria. Here are the top probiotic supplement recommendations to check out today.
Pro-X10 and Gut Reg (Starting Price: $49 USD)
Company Name: BioTRUST
Total CFU: 50 Billion
Pro-X10 is an advanced probiotic supplement that aims to improve viability and delivery of probiotics. By combining strains such as Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, the team at BioTRUST affirms that individuals will be able to achieve a well-balanced gut microbiome, while experiencing a noticeable change to their digestion and immune systems.
This formula also contains PreforPro®, which is a non-fiber prebiotic. This is essential nutrition that determines the overall survival of good bacteria in the gut. To ensure that the probiotics are delivered in full shape, BioTRUST uses microencapsulation technology, one that wraps the strains up in an acid-resistant coating.
Another key aspect worth highlighting is BioTRUST’s awareness on the nature of probiotics. For instance, probiotics are only effective if they remain alive, and this has been addressed to a large extent in Pro-X10.
The best way to take Pro-X10 is by combining it with Gut Reg, a dietary supplement that improves one’s overall gut lining. This is helpful for anyone suffering from leaky git, GI discomfort, an upset stomach and a poor immune system.
More buying options for Pro-X10 and Gut Reg by BioTrust can be found here.
Complete Probiotics Platinum (Starting Price: $49 USD)
Company Name: 1MD
Total CFU: 51 Billion
Complete Probiotics Platinum was designed with the hopes of improving the digestive tract’s normal microbial balance, gut health and immunity. As stated on the official website, this formula includes 11 probiotic strains in delayed-release capsules that ensure their overall safety until reaching their final destination. Like the former supplement, Complete Probiotics Platinum also contains Nutraflora® prebiotic fiber that maintains probiotics’ health. For people who are often faced with gas, bloating or indigestion, this supplement might be one to consider, not to forget those spellbound by the leaky gut syndrome.
Finally, it is uplifting to see that Complete Probiotics Platinum is doctor-formulated, namely, by Dr. David Kahana, MD, a gastrointestinal expert. As per his words, “Using a good, solid probiotic can help improve your digestive, immune and overall health,” while also emphasizing on the importance of proper nutrition.
More buying options for Complete Probiotics Platinum by 1MD can be found here
24 Strain Probiotic (Starting Price: $65.95 USD)
Company Name: Gundry MD
Total CFU: 30 Billion
As the name suggests, 24 Strain Probiotic combines 24 probiotic strains, each one allegedly found to balance the gut and increase good bacteria. Symptoms ranging from gas and bloating to irregularities in bowel movements are trusted to be rectified. With each serving, individuals can also anticipate improved energy levels and focus thanks to their acid- and bile-resistant nature.
Although this supplement is created by a popular brand, and one that is backed by Dr. Steven Gundry himself who carries well over 30 years of medical experience, seeing solutions that carry more CFU with fewer strains makes us wonder whether he was leaning more towards quantity rather than quality. This notion of CFU will be elaborated when discussing the ranking system. Given the number of strains, Gundry MD definitely wins value for price.
More buying options for 24 Strain Probiotic by Gundry MD can be found here
Bio X4 (Starting Price: $49 USD)
Company Name: Nucific
Total CFU: 12 Billion
The approach taken by Nucific for Bio X4 is definitely unique. Instead of focusing on probiotics alone, the team seems to have infused an array of digestive enzymes (which help breakdown carbohydrates, fats and proteins), Caralluma Fimbriata for appetite control and green tea extract for weight management.
As a 4-in-1 supplement, Bio X4 is trusted to ease digestion, increase nutrient absorption, curb cravings and increase good bacteria in the gut. For ideal results, founder Dr. Amy Lee advises that consumers take one capsule with each meal (or a maximum of two per meal) or as directed by a physician. Finally, when it comes to price, it seems like it was once $99, with its current price sitting at roughly $49. This is definitely a huge discount that should be taken advantage of, especially seeing that the selected ingredients have been backed by research.
More buying options for Bio X4 by Nucific can be found here
Balance (Starting Price: $64.95 USD)
Company Name: Organifi
Total CFU: 20 Billion
Balance by Organifi is a 2-in-1 gut support system that delivers both pre- and probiotics. With consistent use, one can anticipate increased mood and immune system without having to worry too much about making drastic lifestyle changes.
This formula contains five strains of probiotics followed by two sources of prebiotics. An added benefit of Organifi Balance Prebiotics and Probiotics supplement is that it can be enjoyed in any food or drink. Fear not, this powdered supplement is flavorless, meaning that it will not disrupt any flavor profile. This is especially helpful for those who dislike the thought of having to swallow capsules.
As per the Organifi team, they are “committed to creating superfood blends with […] ingredient quality standard,” thus making it, USDA Organic, vegan and gluten-, soy-, and dairy free.
More buying options for Balance by Organifi can be found here
ProbioticBalance (Starting Price: $49 USD)
Company Name: Prime Health Daily
Total CFU: 5.75 Billion
ProbioticBalance is described as an advanced probiotics formula, but this might be exaggerated as it contains the lowest amount of total CFU in comparison to the other supplements we’ve discussed thus far. With six probiotics and the inclusion of DE111 (deemed a potent probiotic), the team at Prime Health Daily insists that their solution can promote regularity, fat loss, athletic performance, positive mood, and healthy immune and skin among others.
Each ProbioticBalance purchase also comes with a bonus report called, “10 Worst Foods for Your Gut,” which as hinted in the title, reveals foods that should be avoided for utmost health. The team also claims to have a strong customer base, a possible result due to the fact that they are offering three supplies for the price of one.
More buying options for Probiotic Balance by Prime Health Daily can be found here
Micelle Liposomal Probiotic (Starting Price: $49 USD)
Company Name: PuraTHRIVE
Total CFU: 35 Billion
PuraTHRIVE appears to have diverted themselves from the conventional use of at least five probiotic strains. To be more specific, the team has placed their trust in one particular strain called Lactobacillus Rhamnosus. The reason for doing supposedly has to do with science, which PuraTHRIVE notes can improve the gut and immune system.
They’ve also included an ingredient called lactoferrin, a “iron-binding protein” that increases the overall survival of the probiotic. As a final touch, RcME technology was considered, which allows lactoferrin to maximize delivery, absorption and utilization purposes. Rather than the usual capsules form, this solution is presented in liquid form which needs to be taken using a syringe.
Clearly, the team has given a lot of thought to the story and approach they want to tell consumers regarding probiotics and their effects on the gut and other parts of the body.
More buying options for Micelle Liposomal Probiotic by PuraTHRIVE can be found here
Multi-GI 5 (Starting Price: $49.95)
Company Name: Unify Health Labs
Total grams of bacteria: roughly 4.04 grams
Multi-GI 5 has been formulated to elicit five crucial benefits including healthy digestion, improved weight management, increased energy levels, healthy GI (gastrointestinal) lining and a flourished gut flora. The aforementioned is deemed possible because of how Multi-GI 5 was formulated. In further analyzing the supplement’s facts, it becomes clear that the formula has been split between prebiotic, probiotic and GI health blends.
Yet another supplement delivered in powder form, individuals simply have to mix the suggested doses in any preferred drink, whether it be water, juice, lemonade or smoothie for that matter. What’s interesting about this brand is that it is a partnership involving musician, singer and record producer, Randy Jackson and a group of nutritional experts. Having once struggled with weight loss himself, his lifestyle choices led him to lose 114 pounds. Soon after, him and his team have decided to make it their mission to help others in a similar place in life.
More buying options for Multi-GI 5 by Unify Health Labs can be found here
Probiotic T-50 (Starting Price: $49)
Company Name: Zenith Labs
Total CFU: 50 Billion
Doctor-formulated by Dr. Ryan Shelton, NMD, Probiotic T-50 aims to promote healthier stomach and gut, ease heartburns, reduce gas and bloating and ultimately stimulate regular bowel movements. The main objective that blends these benefits together is the need for a well-balanced gut bacteria ecosystem, which in this case, involves the coming together of 11 unique strains. To think that one capsule suffices per day is pretty impressive, not to forget its utmost convenience. This is definitely one of the strongest probiotics to have made the cut, which currently sits neck and neck with Pro-X10 and Complete Probiotics Platinum.
More buying options for Probiotic T-50 by Zenith Labs can be found here
Replenish 911 (Starting Price: $69.95)
Company Name: PhytAge Labs
Total CFU: 5.75 Billion
Another rather weak formula that appears to be popular among the public is PhytAge Labs’ Replenish 911. With seven probiotic strains found per serving, this respective supplement is anticipated to increase nutrients absorption, combat gut-related diseases, reach a balance state in the gut and consequently, bring one’s quality of life together. To ensure that consumers are confident in what they are purchasing, PhytAge Labs’ has since passed the Verified Ingredients™ Review. Here’s a brief look at what this review means:
“The ingredients listed on the supplement facts of the following product are confirmed to be free of any illegal or banned substances in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act (Title 21 USC).”
More buying options for Replenish 911 by PhytAge Labs can be found here
Gut Approved: The Fundamental Probiotic Ranking System
It wasn’t easy trying to pick our top 10 for the year (at least as of November). The entirety of our decision rests on seven main factors. The first one that individuals might want to look for is the number of colony-forming units (CFUs).
CFUs tell us how many bacteria are found in a given supplement as they are being manufactured. This might aid in assessing the potency of a solution; however, this measure alone does not suffice. The reason for this is that bacteria might die in the process or within a certain range of time, hence, it is vital that company’s take additional measures.
This leads us to the second factor, i.e. quality and treatment of strains. Companies need to make sure that the embedded bacteria receive the support and protection they need to increase survival rates until they reach the final destination (i.e. the gut). Many of the supplements that made the cut seem to have satisfied this condition, otherwise it would defeat the purpose of buying it to begin with.
Another factor that was sought-for, was whether or not companies stuck by more than one type of strain. There are a handful of strains among thousands that have since been studied and proven to be effective. This is not to say that quantity is preferred over quality, but instead, it is a way to see how a brand justifies picking one over the other or one over a group of strains.
Following suit, we have transparency. This factor goes into checking numerous boxes including company details, supplement’s facts, manufacturing processes, quality and purity testing, to what extent a company prides itself in its solutions, their approaches, etc. The more information provided, the easier it will be for decision making purposes.
Next up, it was vital that the advertised benefits be listed. Not everyone is versed on supplement usage, so knowing what they are meant to achieve also helps. In addition, being able to compare the listed benefits with what the ingredients are actually meant to do will reveal a whole lot about a company’s transparency and honesty.
Then comes the value for money and money back guarantee duo. These factors answer questions such as “Is the supplement affordable?” and “What happens when a supplement does not achieve the suggested benefits?” Though value for price is like the bow on top of a wrapped gift, money back guarantees are sought-for simply because not all supplements are meant to work for everyone.
Finally, if all of the aforementioned factors were met, a bonus one that attracted our team is whether the solution has been doctor formulated. Obviously, the field of medicine contains different branches and seeing that a solution was created by a particular specialist in the gut and digestion arena is a fine detail that is likely to be appreciated.
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Understanding Probiotic Strains from the Scientific Perspective
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Office of Dietary Supplements, the seven core genera of microbial organisms include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and Bacillus. Essential species, among a long list worth considering include rhamnosus, animalis and longum.
As for the health benefits, there supposedly exists a “great deal of scientific research.” The way NIH approached different probiotic strains is by looking closely at what they are meant to treat. Given that their approach to educating consumers on this matter is intuitive, it made sense to encapsulate just that. Below is a summary on probiotic strains by six health conditions:
Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema, an inflammatory related skin disorder faced mostly by children than adults. That said, the strains that were deemed most effective at significantly reducing the risk of atopic dermatitis, symptom severity and incidence include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Propionibacterium.
Pediatric Acute Infectious Diarrhea
Acute diarrhea is equivalent to loose or liquid stools. These types force consumers to make frequent visits to the bathroom, resulting in extreme exhaustion. NIH referenced a “Cochrane review” that looked at a total of 63 randomized control trials, finding that both single- and multi-strain probiotics can bring comfort. In terms of probiotic strain, it is allegedly Lactobacillus rhamnosus that does the trick, followed by Saccharomyces boulardii. They not only reduced the duration of diarrhea, but also promoted rehydration.
Diarrhea Caused by Antibiotics
One particular side effect of antibiotics is a disruption in the gut flora, and of course, its leads to acute-onset diarrhea. Speaking of the gut flora, this condition can go as far as damaging microbial metabolism and depriving it of colonization resistance. Just like the aforementioned condition, antibiotics-related diarrhea can be treated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii. However, it seems like using them individually has a far more positive effect than by combining them.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
A common issue experienced by the general public; IBS is typically linked to probiotic supplements. This is because they are expected to replenish any missing microbial functionality. Therefore, the common genus that one can expect to see in their supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
For those of you who are wondering about the exact genus and species pairing, a review on 35 clinical trials found the following as being effective:
Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium infantis
Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum
By now everyone is likely to know that high cholesterol levels open doors to cardiovascular diseases. But what one might have not realized is that probiotics can help to regulate cholesterol levels while reducing the risk of a heart disease. Some powerful strains that could make a difference are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus plantarum. Having said that, more research is needed to make sound conclusions.
The gut plays a fundamental role in how food is digested and this in part might clarify unexplained weight gain. As written by NIH, “The gut microbiota plays an important role in nutrient and energy extraction from food. Research in mice suggests that the gut microbiota affect not only use of energy from diet, but also energy expenditure and storage within the host.”
One strain that might help to reduce visceral fat is Lactobacillus gasseri. Another one to have made the cut is Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which might induce weight loss results after 12 and 24 weeks of ingestion. Many do not associate using probiotics for weight loss, especially in comparison to weight loss diet pills like Meticore, but slowly and surely, men and women of all ages are realizing how important gut health is towards weight management.
To wrap things up, probiotics from a scientific perspective appear to be positive and motivating. A great number of studies have been conducted in this area, which makes it easier to decide on the specific genus and species. Having said that, it seems like choosing the right probiotic supplement requires consumers to have a predetermined health goal in mind. Precisely, those of you who are having trouble with weight loss might not be able to see results if a probiotic that focuses heavily on diarrhea is chosen.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help to strengthen the gut, which in turn boosts many of the body’s organs. Their need comes from the fact that they can help to eliminate free radicals, environment pollutants and other toxins trying to coexist in the body.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are normally plant-based fibers that serve as nutrition for probiotics. In the event that good bacteria manage to defeat the bad, the fight itself can be draining. As a fuel, prebiotics are often sought-for.
Do probiotics need to be alive?
By definition, probiotics need to be alive as they are being administered, otherwise the listed benefits will not be reached. Normally, the combination of low temperature and acidity is what keeps these strains intact and by acidity, we mean the protective layer that they rest in.
What happens if the probiotics fail to reach the gut in one piece?
If the probiotics fail to reach the gut, the whole purpose of strengthening the gut becomes pointless. For this reason, individuals need to pick a brand that promises to protect probiotic strains as they travel through the body.
Are there any foods that act as probiotics?
When it comes to wholesome sources of probiotics, anything that is fermented is deemed ideal. This is because fermentation requires rich sources of live and possibly beneficial microbes. NIH lists some of these as being yogurt and kefir. The unfortunate truth with whole food bacteria is that they aren’t strong enough to surpass an acidic or bile enriched environment, which means that they are highly unlikely to make it to the gut.
Will probiotic supplements create dependencies?
At the time of writing, there is no evidence suggesting that the body might become addicted or dependent on probiotic supplements. If this is still a concern in the back of one’s mind, it might be best to take such solutions for short-term purposes.
Which strains are considered safe?
Most probiotic strains have a long history of safe use; therefore, very little concern is needed in the area of safety. For a peace of mind, NIH revealed that these strains include all Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
What is the ideal number of CFU to look for in an effective probiotic?
On average, probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFU. It turns out that the number of CFU is not as important. In addition, just because a supplement is trusted to contain a high amount, it doesn’t mean that it will improve the suggested health effects. As per NIH, the total number of CFUs listed on supplements usually include both alive and dead microorganisms.
Is shelf life important?
It is encouraged to assess shelf life, as probiotics can occur during these set timeframes. If such information is not provided, customer service should be contacted prior to placing an order.
Ultimately, it boils down to what each individual is expecting from probiotic supplements. Depending on the health condition that needs rectifying, an appropriate solution with all the right strains can be purchased. As seen above, many of our picks did not simply stop at considering probiotics, but also went as far as including vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes among others. Who can forget all the effort that went into ensuring the survival of probiotics until they reach customers’ doors?
Another key takeaway is that the number of total CFUs is not truly indicative of how effective the supplement is. In our list, Replenish 911 and ProbioticBalance carried the least amount of them all, but it on its own, the number says nothing. Hence, it might still have a chance at supporting one’s health. That brings us to the end of the top 10 probiotic supplements of 2020. Unquestionably, more solutions are likely to be developed and introduced along the way, thus, individuals are highly encouraged to keep an eye out, as this list can be updated any time!
Consumers simply can not go wrong in buying the best probiotic supplements for men and women this year. Any of these probiotics can heal the gut and optimize one's internal ecosystem:
- Pro-X10 and Gut Reg by BioTRUST – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Complete Probiotics Platinum by 1MD – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Micelle Liposomal Probiotic by PuraTHRIVE – click here to buy direct and save big today
- 24 Strain Probiotic by Gundry MD – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Bio X4 by Nucific – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Balance by Organifi – click here to buy direct and save big today
- ProbioticBalance by Prime Health Daily – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Multi-GI 5 by Unify Health Labs – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Probiotic T-50 by Zenith Labs – click here to buy direct and save big today
- Replenish 911 by PhytAge Labs – click here to buy direct and save big today